Premier Shows Qld’s $200m Timber Hand: But Plan Short on Detail

Premier Miles has revealed a 30-year Queensland Sustainable Timber Industry Framework in Maryborough

Wed 26 Jun 24


Just four months before the next state election, the Queensland Government has played its timber hand, pledging $200m that it said will “support the industry’s future – securing good timber jobs and supply.”

The package, announced by Queensland Premier Steven Miles and Treasurer Cameron Dick in Maryborough, is part of a 30-year Queensland Sustainable Timber Industry Framework, which will see no reduction in current timber supply between 2025 and the end of 2034.

“Queensland’s timber industry is the backbone of the housing and building sectors,” according to Premier Miles, who said, “The terms of reference, released today, maps out our priorities as a government – that is, timber supply security, environmental protections, jobs and diverse employment opportunities.”

Premier Miles’s announcement comes days after Wood Central revealed that the state could run out of hardwoods – with five years of poor policy and inaction – leaving Queensland at risk from dwindling supplies of structural beams and posts, flooring, cladding and decking.

Under the new Framework, the Government will invest in expanding plantation resources, ramping up private native forestry education and extension services, subsidising state and crown land forest harvesting across the state to meet supply levels and developing accreditation and certification services – helping timber from private forests enter supply chains.

According to a statement provided by the Premier’s office, the new Framework will be in place by mid-2025 (after the next election). It will be finalised subject to support from a stakeholder advisory group.

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Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick (right) with Mark Raguse, from the AWU, in Maryborough. (Photo Credit: Queensland Government)
The new Framework is light on for detail…

Timber Queensland, the industry authority for the forest and timber supply chain, has cautiously welcomed the announcement but adds that it lacks details about wood supply and its impact on local hardwoods.

“As a whole, the funding commitment by the Government of $200 million for the framework policy is significant, which, if implemented appropriately, can position the industry with an opportunity to increase timber supply for housing and construction demand,” according to Mick Stephens, the CEO of Timber Queensland.

“A key issue facing the industry is a lack of policy certainty over future access to public and privately managed native forests for sustainable hardwood production, as well as minimal incentives and measures to promote plantation and farm forestry expansion to increase timber supply,” Mr Stephens said, who has provided Premier Miles with a list assurance needed to meet demand for 1 million new dwellings by 2046.

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According to Mick Stephens, the CEO of Timber Queensland, the state’s $3.8 billion forest and timber supply chain needs more assurance over future access to public and privately managed native forests for sustainable hardwood production. (Photo Credit: Timber Queensland)

He nonetheless “welcomes the Government’s recognition of the industry’s importance for housing materials and the need to build our sovereign capability in timber production, which supports local jobs.”

Last year, Wood Central reported that Australia’s forest plantation area is at a 20-year low, with the lack of investment in new plantations and farm forestry putting an enormous strain on the supply chains.

“We are keen to work with (Queensland) Government to promote the right trees in the right place for future timber supply,” Mr Stephens said: “Major impediments for farmers include high front costs of tree establishment, limited access to forestry management expertise and lack of awareness of the on-farm benefits such as shade and shelter for livestock and supplementary income from timber and carbon sequestration.”

“It will be important that any plantation support measures take into account the farm-level goals of the landowner as well as commercial realities such as correct species choice, sufficient scale and locations close to processing facilities and markets.”

To maintain and grow timber supply levels from state and private native forests, Timber Queensland’s list of assurances includes:
  • native hardwood permits are issued as soon as possible for permit holders from the former South-East Queensland (SEQ) supply zone through to 2026 based on current contract volumes for compulsory sawlogs, optional sawlogs and poles;
  • longer-term permits through to 2034 are put in place for equivalent volumes within a sustainable yield envelope for former SEQ permit holders as soon as possible;
  • further detail is provided on the agreed state supply volume to be provided through to 2034, including location and resource quality from available crown land;
  • adequate business assistance is provided for transport impacts from the reduction of harvest area in the South-East Queensland Regional Plan Area from January 2025, as well as for permits issued through to 2034 in terms of any changes in resource quality and mix of log grades and products from the sourcing of equivalent volumes from other crown land;
  • the ‘Category F’ instrument be explored as an alternative environmental control for private native forestry activities, compared to the Vegetation Management Act, which targets broad-scale agriculture and is not fit for purpose for sustainable timber production with selective harvesting practices; and
  • priority be given to private native forestry extension which has significant potential to grow and increase timber supply over the next few decades.

To learn more about the Queensland Sustainable Timber Industry Framework, the terms of reference and the $200m support package, visit the Queensland Cabinet and Ministerial Directory.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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